QUESTION: What can I plant next to artichokes? I’m trying to layout a small vegetable plot and not sure how to locate my artichoke plants. -Tammy A
ANSWER: Using companion planting, you can make the most of your garden space by taking advantage of the ways plants naturally work together. Paired up, some plants will enhance the flavor of their companions, provide them with the shade they need, or drive off the bugs that plague their neighbors. The plants listed below are recommended companions for artichokes.
- Asparagus: Surround your artichoke plants with asparagus; both crops will perform well in the other’s presence. Also, the asparagus and artichokes will be growing most actively at different times, so they won’t cramp one another’s style.
- Brassicas: All the plants in the brassica family perform well next to artichokes, though you may need to take care to position the brassicas out from under the artichoke plant’s canopy so they will get enough sun. Brassica plants include arugula, bok choy, broccoli (including purple sprouting broccoli, broccoflower, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, honesty (Lunaria annua), horseradish, kale, kalettes, kohlrabi, Napa cabbage, radishes, Romanesco, rutabaga, stock , sweet alyssum, turnips, wasabi, watercress, and woad.
- Corn: Plant your corn along the western side of your artichoke plants, and the corn will provide the artichokes with some shade during the hottest part of the season.
- Cucumbers: The artichoke plant makes a suitable trellis for cucumbers, and both plants share some requirements: soil that drains well, a constant and generous supply of water, and soil that is loose and well tilled.
- Peas: Artichokes are heavy feeders, so they benefit from the nitrogen that pea plants add to the soil.
- Sunflowers: Sunflowers perform well next to artichokes, and the two plants won’t compete with one another for nutrients. When you plant sunflowers on the western side of artichokes, they shelter the artichokes from the sun and offer some protective shade.
- Tarragon: Tarragon makes a good partner for artichokes because tarragon and artichokes won’t vie for resources with one another.
- Vetch: Vetch adds nitrogen to the soil, which will help your artichoke plants to thrive.